Studio Automation

One goal I have is to explore home automation.  Figure I would start with the studio. We already have xfinity alarm system in the house, I started with an Alexa  with Echo Plus.

Then added  the August lock for the front door,  with the hub and keypad

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Studio Main Room

Continued working on the Studio main room. Sarah’s stuff arrived so add a bed and put the workbench top on the autonomous  powered desk, which I painted black.

The workbench can rise up to 43″ so kind of cool. Was a pain to get it working. the lift mechanism would do one side but not the other. So every combo of doing it wrong was tried. Plus it worked fine without the top. so had to keep putting the top on and off. Turned out the coupling from the motor to the remote size, There are two the one closest to the motor, the one from the factory was never really had the shaft seated into the coupler complete. No way to really know is it was not visible inside the coupler. Got that working then some how got the legs out of sync so had to undo again. It was a head scratching challenge.

Wonder what will be next.

The blue tool box is a staging area. On it currently are 3 projects.

  • Phillips lights and zig bee light switches. for home automation
  • Wi Fi outdoor extender for Robot work outside
  • Solar lighting fixtures for street numbers and yard art.
  • Project is on the workbench maybe ceiling mount and hide the electronics

Guest bed now in the space so somewhere to nap, Need bedding.

Table could be replaced with a couch?

Working on a mobile island with Ikea Cabinets and a Grizzly workbench top.  Will be 6′ long  3′ wide and 34″ tall. should fit in the corner nicely or position in the center near the workbench. Cost about 1200 for the parts so waiting on ordering till some money accumulates.

Pressure Washer

Now that the weather is turning nice and it is getting dark later. The patio was kind of dark. We got a price to pressure wash a section of  the grounds that was 1/2 the cost of a Stihl R600.

So we purchased one for the local Ace hardware store. Also got the $150 rotating nossile. which makes the job go much faster. Then I went out and washed the  patio, What a difference. Not the fastest job in the world takes about a minute to do 3+ sq ft.

Took about 1 hour for the flag stone and 2 hours for the patio.

You need to be careful with the moss/grass between the flagstone.

They should do this SouthPort. Cleans up nicely. Probably will spend days doing this, every 6 months.

This is something I would like to see Max “The Nasa base” Robot get trained to do.

The Right Decision?

The big question when we bought this house. was would there be another one like this available when we had to move out of Southport.  So by this time we would have needed to find and be in escrow.  Figure the cost to put in the fence and 6 months rent added 35K to the price.

So what is available at or below 935K.  Plus Zillow says we make 25K on the house in the 6 months.  This one looks like it would  work but 

There are a lot of homes that are in the 1250K to 950K range that are nice but now that the purchase  cut off date has pasted. It is clear that we would probably be spending more money for a house that is not as nice as this. The level lot, the lack of wood decks, the privacy. the house size. the studio make this a very good investment purchased when the timing was right.

Spring is here.

The weather has been great this weekend April 21. a big improvement from last week where we had to purchased rain gear and did a weekend of work in the rain. The flowers are all starting to come out. the Leaves are almost out on all the trees. The birds are making lots of noise. We are really cleaning up the forrest and it is looking great. Far more spacious and less cluttered with fallen branches, etc. Kind of spring cleaning.

Looks like we have 2 days of 70+ temp days without rain. Thinking of turning the sprinklers back on.

We now ave so many projects in flight, Not sure where to start. Good thing we have about 25 years here to get them done.

Really need to pressure wash, everything is tinted with pollen or moss. So looks like the next purchase will be the pressure washer.


Studio main room

The main room in the studio is not fully functional. We have been trying to figure out how to best use this space. The area is so nice and clean, wedo not want to do anything that would make a lot of dust. Than leaves the saws, grinding, sanding, drilling, etc out of the main area.

This is a blank canvas that we are starting to figure out how to make functional. We want to be able to have overnight guest sleep in here. That means a bed. Since Sarah’s stuff is showing up. We will have a bed, Thinking of putting it in the south west corner. Maybe a couch or two.  Ames Chair?

I have nice video projector that could be put to use.

Order a Grizzly 96″ x 30″ x 1.75″ work bench top to start with.

My current project, that will utilize this space, is related to computer vision and perception for indoor and outdoor robots.

Live edge cabinets for the studio

The studio is a terrific space but has limited cabinet space.

For my B-day I was able to purchase several live edge cherry planks that I wanted to use as shelves or counter tops. Adding a natural element to the sterile white  design. I mounted the planks down the hallway to see if  the  would not crowd the space. The hallway is only 5 feet wide so easy to make it feel narrow and tight squeezing by.

Mardi started commenting on the look and we together with a fair amount of arguing back and forth came up with a great solution and look. I had researched lots of cabinet options but had not found one that was inexpensive and practical. I was getting ready to just make my own cabinets with sliding fronts. The closest I had gotten to something that could work, was some 15″ deep wall cabinets from Ikea.

So on a rainy Saturday  after mulching,  we headed off to Ikea in Renton about 50 minutes away to take a look.  We were able to find, purchase and take home  cabinets and everything needed to make this work. Total cost of the 5 cabinets was around $750.  I spent the following rainy Sunday assembling and mounting the 5 cabinets,  Took all day.

Assemble of the cabinets was quick first one about 40 minutes and mounted the back inside out so had a lighter more reflective back, Cabinet was really dark with the finished wood side in.  Following cabinets took about 15 minutes each.

The feet are made for base cabinets will holes in them to mount the feet. Wall cabinets do not have these holed so ended up cutting the pegs off the feet on the band saw.

Still need to trim to size and  finish the cherry planks with Rubio monocoat.

The Stanley small parts bin fit standing on end or flat on the shelf.  Will need to move the labels to the handle areas.

Turns out the small plank for the single cabinet is too narrow,  which means another trip up to Edensaw  Lumber and Port Townsend, to get another plank.

What homes are on the Market now

Mardi and I pulled the trigger on the Maxwell house early because we thought we would not find as nice a house in 6 months.  The down side was we had to pay rent and utilities on South Port till we found a replacement renter. Well it is April and we still have not found a replacement renter. Last rent payment is May 1st.  at 3300 a month was kind of expensive. But almost over.

So at this point in time, what houses are on the market that we can purchase for the price we paid for Maxwell house. With the fence and extra rent we are close to 950k.  We would have to be closing escrow in May so pretty much in the next few weeks we will see if we made the right decision.

After living here a while, we find having a level lot, without the need for a deck  a big plus.  We find the studio is also a pretty special space.  Most view lots are on a sloping lot with wood decks. Our large lot with its privacy is another plus, not found in most houses.  Our location close to uptown and not to far north on Hwy 16 saves on commute time.  So considering homes north of Olympic is really not an option.  Our house size is just right many are so large not sure what we would do with all that space.

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So far we have not found one yet as nice as this one in any our price range. Will try to revisit the selection available in 2 weeks.


Weekend March 17-18

Was perfect weather this weekend and last weekend sunny and dry we had Julie and Geoff out last weekend so not much got done.  Even with  March Madness got a fair amount of stuff done.

This weekend got some of the small tasks done, besides chipping and gardening

  • Replaced the GFR outlet by the greenhouse.
  • Painted out the white with green  spray paint on the the T-bar posts
  • Moved the Refrigerator  out of the studio and into the garage.
  • Cleaned out the green house.
  • Turned the water back on for the irrigation system.
  • Purchased a Makita Jig saw, pine planks, and shelf brackets for the Live edge in the studio.

Planting and Flowers

We did some planting of vegetable, strawberries, Mardi put strawberries in with the raspberries in  one of the raised bed.  We added cilantro,  Wally Wally onions to the herb bed. We put in tomato plants into the orchard. The soil is really shallow, you hit rocks about 4 inches down.  Tried to move a rosemary bush out of the herb raised bed and put it into the yard, not sure if that will work. The Rosemary looks good in the new location but not sure if it will live.

Purchased the tomatoes, herbs, strawberries as starters 4″   5 for 15 dollars from Home Depot, around $38  for 22 plants. We seem to be late for doing things from seeds all the starter kits were packed up. Need to figure that out sooner. Looks like a December / January thing. We do have a greenhouse.

We also purchased some seeds and will try to get them started in the green house this week. Cantaloupe, Bell Peppers, Cucumbers. around $2. per pack.

Turned on the water for the irrigation systems, but have not turned on the  remote control system.  We be interesting to see how we the sprinkler system does. It has 12 zones, I guess a rain sensor. So something else to figure out.

Lots of work  to be done in the yard, but it is looking good, things are flowering.